“Cross” Trees Can’t Branch Out

As I consider the beginning of this doodle journey and where I was last year as I started it, I realize how much God has continued to undo who I was and caused me to live a much more trust filled, joy and peace-filled, fluid life in Him.  And it all started by stepping out in faith and obedience.  This is what I wrote on the back of my doodle last year,

“When I was young and I heard at church things like ‘Lay down your life for God,’ my only thought (and preconceived idea of how to do that) was, ‘I have to give Bible studies or be a missionary . . . I think I’ll have fun with my life, then come to God.’  Then, when life didn’t go as planned I said, ‘Alright God, I’m all in.  I’m going to sacrifice everything, I’ll dress a certain way (like I lived in the 1800’s), eat a certain way (vegan if you please–that seemed to be the most sacrificial and God pleasing to me), worship a certain way on a certain day . . .’

Don't be a dead, 'cross' tree.  Branch out with God, be a living and life giving tree.

Don’t be a dead, ‘cross’ tree.  Branch out with God, be a living and life-giving tree.

When that lifestyle didn’t bring life, joy and peace I threw up my hands and said, ‘I give up!!, What else can I do to please you?  I still don’t have peace, in fact I have less security and peace.’  That’s when He said to me, ‘Stop putting words in my mouth, thinking you know what I want.  Lay down your preconceived ideas and let me live in you–then and only then will you really know Me and will you ever be able to branch out, be useful and have peace.’  I did that–placed my FULL understanding of scripture and life in His hands and immediately my life changed–it was my ‘re-Birthday’.  Life isn’t always rosy, but it always comes with peace and assurance I’d never experienced before.”

As Oswald Chambers would put it, “Will we allow Him to help Himself to us, or are we more concerned with our own ideas of what we are going to be?”  If all you feel is ‘cross’, try letting go of control, branch out with God.

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